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Origen (Greek: Ὠριγένης Ōrigénēs, 185–ca. 254) was an Early Christian scholar, theologian, and one of the most distinguished of the early fathers of the Christian Church. He is thought to have been born at Alexandria, and died at Caesarea Maritima.[1][2] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The term Early Christianity here refers to Christianity of the period after the Death of Jesus and the foundation of the churches of Jerusalem and Antioch in the 30s and before the First Council of Nicaea in 325. ... At Wikiversity you can learn more and teach others about Theology at: The School of Theology Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... The Church Fathers or Fathers of the Church are the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian church, particularly those of the first five centuries of Christian history. ... The term Christian Church, or Catholic Church, as it was known beginning in 110 AD,[1] expresses the idea that organised Christianity (the Christian religion) is seen as an institution. ... Alexandria (Greek: , Coptic: , Arabic: , Egyptian Arabic: Iskindireyya), (population of 3. ... Caesarea Palaestina, also called Caesarea Maritima, a town built by Herod the Great about 25 - 13 BC, lies on the sea-coast of Israel about halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of a place previously called Pyrgos Stratonos (Strato or Stratons Tower, in Latin Turris Stratonis). ...

His writings are important as one of the first intellectual attempts to describe Christianity. He espoused a Platonic view of eternal souls achieving perfection while escaping the temporary, imperfect material world. He imagined even demons being reunited with God. His views, including universalism, a hierarchical structure in the trinity, and the preexistence of souls, were declared anathema in the 6th century. Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... Platonic idealism is the theory that the substantive reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. ...



His name perhaps derives from a Graeco-Egyptian origin. It is formed of the Greek terminal element γενης (genēs), meaning "born", and the name of the Egyptian god Horus (pronounced Hōr in Coptic Egyptian). Thus, his name may mean "Horus-born". This page is about the Egyptian deity. ... Coptic is an adjective referring to the original inhabitants of Egypt, the Copts. ...

Origen's full name was apparently Ōrigenēs Adamantios (Ὠριγενης Ἀδαμαντιος), with Adamantios, his nickname, meaning 'man of diamond' (the word ἀδαμας, adamas, means 'a material that cannot be tamed').


Early training

Origen was educated by his father, Leonides, on scriptural texts that would later become the Bible and in elementary studies. However, in 202, Origen's father was killed in the outbreak of the persecution during the reign of Septimius Severus. Origen wished to follow in martyrdom, but was prevented only by his mother hiding his clothes. The death of Leonides left the family of nine impoverished when their property was confiscated. Origen, however, was taken under the protection of a woman of wealth and standing; but as her household already included a heretic named Paul, the strictly orthodox Origen seems to have remained with her only a short time. The Bible is the collection of sacred writings or books of Judaism and Christianity. ... First Christians in Kiev by Vasily Perov; Christians worshipping secretly in fear of persecution Christians have experienced persecution from both non-Christians and from other Christians during the history of Christianity. ... Lucius Septimius Severus (b. ...

Since his father's teaching enabled him also to give elementary instruction, he revived, in 203, the Catechetical School of Alexandria, whose last teacher, Clement of Alexandria, was apparently driven out by the persecution. But the persecution still raged, and the young teacher unceasingly visited the prisoners, attended the courts, and comforted the condemned, himself preserved from harm as if by a miracle. His fame and the number of his pupils increased rapidly, so that Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria, made him restrict himself to instruction in Christian doctrine alone. The Catechetical School of Alexandria (founded c. ... Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens), was the first member of the Church of Alexandria to be more than a name, and one of its most distinguished teachers. ... Saint Demetrius was Patriarch of Alexandria (189–232). ...

Origen, to be entirely independent, sold his library for a sum which netted him a daily income of 4 obols on which he lived by exercising the utmost frugality. Teaching throughout the day, he devoted the greater part of the night to the study of the Bible and lived a life of rigid asceticism. According to some traditions, he carried this to such an extent that, fearing that his position as a teacher of women as well as men might give ground for scandal to the heathen, he followed Matthew 19:12 literally and castrated himself; this action, if accurately reported, was likely partly influenced, too, by his belief that the Christian must follow the words of his Master without reserve. Later in life, however, he saw reason to judge differently concerning his extreme act. The historical accuracy of this supposed castration has been doubted by some scholars. It has been postulated that this story was circulated by Origen's rivals in an effort to lessen his importance or to otherwise sully his reputation. This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

During the reign of emperor Caracalla, about 211-212, Origen paid a brief visit to Rome, but the relative laxity during the pontificate of Zephyrinus seems to have disillusioned him, and on his return to Alexandria he resumed his teaching with zeal increased by the contrast. But the school had far outgrown the strength of a single man; the catechumens pressed eagerly for elementary instruction, and the baptized sought for interpretation of the Bible. Under these circumstances, Origen entrusted the teaching of the catechumens to Heraclas, the brother of the martyr Plutarch, his first pupil. Caracalla (April 4, 186 – April 8, 217) was Roman Emperor from 211 – 217. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... Pope Zephyrinus was pope from about 199 to 217. ... Heraclas served as the thirteenth Pope of Alexandria (head of the church that became the Coptic Church and the Orthodox Church of Alexandria) between 232 and 248. ... Mestrius Plutarchus (Greek: Πλούταρχος; 46 - 127), better known in English as Plutarch, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist. ...

His own interests became more and more centered in exegesis, and he accordingly studied Hebrew, though there is no certain knowledge concerning his instructor in that language. From about this period (212-213) dates Origen's acquaintance with Ambrose of Alexandria, whom he was instrumental in converting from Valentianism to orthodoxy. Later (about 218) Ambrose, a man of wealth, made a formal agreement with Origen to promulgate his writings, and all the subsequent works of Origen (except his sermons, which were not expressly prepared for publication) were dedicated to Ambrose. Exegesis (from the Greek to lead out) involves an extensive and critical interpretation of a text, especially of a holy scripture, such as of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrash, the Quran, etc. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ... Ambrose of Alexandria (died about 250 AD) was a friend of Origen. ... -Quevedo Valentinius, also called Valentinus (c. ...

In 213 or 214, Origen visited Arabia at the request of the prefect, who wished to have an interview with him; and Origen accordingly spent a brief time in Petra, after which he returned to Alexandria. In the following year, a popular uprising at Alexandria caused Caracalla to let his soldiers plunder the city, shut the schools, and expel all foreigners. The latter measure caused Ambrose to take refuge in Caesarea, where he seems to have made his permanent home; and Origen, who felt that the turmoil hindered his activity as a teacher and imperilled his safety, left Egypt, apparently going with Ambrose to Caesarea, where he spent some time. Here, in conformity with local usage based on Jewish custom, Origen, though not ordained, preached and interpreted the Scriptures at the request of the bishops Alexander of Jerusalem and Theoctistus of Caesarea. When, however, the confusion in Alexandria subsided, Demetrius recalled Origen, probably in 216. The current version of this article or section is written in an informal style and with a personally invested tone. ...


Of Origen's activity during the next decade little is known, but it was obviously devoted to teaching and writing. The latter was rendered the more easy for him by Ambrose, who provided him with more than seven stenographers to take dictation in relays, as many scribes to prepare long-hand copies, and a number of girls to multiply the copies. At the request of Ambrose, he now began a huge commentary on the Bible, beginning with John, and continuing with Genesis, Psalms 1-25, and Lamentations, besides brief exegeses of selected texts (forming the ten books of his Stromateis), two books on the resurrection, and the work On First Principles. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Bible is the collection of sacred writings or books of Judaism and Christianity. ... Genesis (Hebrew: ‎, Greek: Γένεσις, meaning birth, creation, cause, beginning, source or origin) is the first book of the Torah, the Tanakh, and the Old Testament. ... Psalms (from the Greek: Psalmoi (songs sung to a harp, originally from psallein play on a stringed instrument), Ψαλμοί; Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים) is a book of the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh or Old Testament. ... The Book of Lamentations is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... Look up Resurrection in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Conflict with Demetrius and removal to Caesarea

About 230, Origen entered on the fateful journey which was to compel him to give up his work at Alexandria and embittered the next years of his life. Sent to Greece on some ecclesiastical mission, he paid a visit to Caesarea, where he was heartily welcomed and was ordained a priest, that no further cause for criticism might be given Demetrius, who had strongly disapproved his preaching before ordination while at Caesarea. But Demetrius, taking this well-meant act as an infringement of his rights, was furious, for not only was Origen under his jurisdiction, but, if Eastern sources may be believed, Demetrius had been the first to introduce episcopal ordination in Egypt. The metropolitan accordingly convened a synod of bishops and presbyters which banished Origen from Alexandria, while a second synod declared his ordination invalid. Saint Demetrius was Patriarch of Alexandria (189–232). ...

Origen accordingly fled from Alexandria in 231, and made his permanent home in Caesarea. A series of attacks on him seems to have emanated from Alexandria, whether for his self-castration (a capital crime in Roman law) or for alleged heterodoxy is unknown; but at all events these fulminations were heeded only at Rome, while Palestine, Phoenicia, Arabia, and Achaia paid no attention to them. Castration, gelding, neutering, orchiectomy or orchidectomy is any action, surgical or otherwise, by which a biological male loses use of the testes. ... Heterodoxy includes any opinions or doctrines at variance with an official or orthodox position. [1] As an adjective, heterodox is used to describe a subject as characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards (status quo). ...

At Alexandria Heraclas became head of Origen's school, and shortly afterward, on the death of Demetrius, was consecrated bishop. At Caesarea Origen was joyfully received, and was also the guest of Firmilian, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, and of the empress-dowager, Julia Mamaea, at Antioch. The former also visited him at Caesarea, where Origen, deeply loved by his pupils, preached and taught dialectics, physics, ethics, and metaphysics; thus laying his foundation for the crowning theme of theology. Julia Avita Mamaea (180- 235) was the daughter of Julia Maesa, a powerful Roman woman of Syrian origin, and Julius Avitus. ... Antioch on the Orontes (Greek: Αντιόχεια η επί Δάφνη, Αντιόχεια η επί Ορόντου or Αντιόχεια η Μεγάλη; Latin: Antiochia ad Orontem, also Antiochia dei Siri), the Great Antioch or Syrian Antioch was an ancient city located on the eastern side (left bank) of the Orontes River about 30 km from the sea and its port, Seleucia Pieria. ... In classical philosophy, dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is an exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses) resulting in a synthesis of the opposing assertions, or at least a qualitative transformation in the direction of the dialogue. ... Physics (Greek: (phúsis), nature and (phusiké), knowledge of nature) is the branch of science concerned with the fundamental laws of the universe. ... Ethics (from the Ancient Greek ēthikos, the adjective of ēthos custom, habit), a major branch of philosophy, including genetics is the study of values and customs of a person or group. ... Plato and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome). ... At Wikiversity you can learn more and teach others about Theology at: The School of Theology Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ...

He accordingly sought to set forth all the science of the time from the Christian point of view, and to elevate Christianity to a theory of the universe compatible with Hellenism. In 235, with the accession of Maximinus, a persecution raged; and for two years Origen is said, though on somewhat doubtful authority, to have remained concealed in the house of a certain Juliana in Casarea of Cappadocia. Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... This article deals with 4th century Roman Emperor. ...

Little is known of the last twenty years of Origen's life. He preached regularly on Wednesdays and Fridays, and later daily. He evidently, however, developed an extraordinary literary productivity, broken by occasional journeys; one of which, to Athens during some unknown year, was of sufficient length to allow him time for research.

After his return from Athens, he succeeded in converting Beryllus, bishop of Bostra, from his adoptionistic views to the Orthodox faith; yet in these very years (about 240) probably occurred the attacks on Origen's own orthodoxy which compelled him to defend himself in writing to Pope Fabian and many bishops. Neither the source nor the object of these attacks is known, though the latter may have been connected with Novatianism. Saint Fabian (died 250; feast day: January 20), pope and martyr, was chosen pope, or bishop of Rome, in January 236 in succession to Pope Anterus. ... The Novatianists following Novatius, or Novatian, held a strict view that refused readmission to communion of those baptized Christians who had denied their faith or performed the formalities of a ritual sacrifice to the pagan gods, under the pressures of the persecution sanctioned by Emperor Decius, in 250 A.D...

After his conversion of Beryllus, however, his aid was frequently invoked against heresies. Thus, when the doctrine was promulgated in Arabia that the soul died and decayed with the body, being restored to life only at the resurrection, appeal was made to Origen, who journeyed to Arabia, and by his preaching reclaimed the erring.

In 250 persecutions of the Church broke out anew, and this time Origen did not escape. He was tortured, pilloried, and bound hand and foot to the block for days without yielding. Though he did not die while being tortured, he died within two years of injuries sustained. Had he died during, he would have been declared a martyr, something that he would have greatly desired. A later legend, recounted by Jerome (De viris illustribus, chapter 54) and numerous itineraries place his death and burial at Tyre, but to this little value can be attached. “Saint Jerome” redirects here. ... Jerome De viris illustribus (On Illustrious Men) is a collection of short biographies of 135 authors, written in Latin, by the 4th century Illyrian author Jerome. ... The Triumphal Arch Tyre (Arabic , Phoenician , Hebrew Tzor, Tiberian Hebrew , Akkadian , Greek Týros) is a city in the South Governorate of Lebanon. ...


Exegetical writings

According to Epiphanius (Haer., lxiv.63) Origen wrote about 6,000 works (i.e., rolls or chapters). A list was given by Eusebius in his lost life of Pamphilus (Hist. eccl., VI., xxxii. 3; Eng. transl., NPNF, 2 ser., i. 277), which was apparently known to Jerome (Epist. ad Paulam, NPNF, vi. 46). These fall into four classes: text criticism; exegesis; systematic, practical, and apologetic theology; and letters; besides certain spurious works. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers is a set of books containing translations of early Christian writings into English. ...

By far the most important work of Origen on textual criticism was the Hexapla, a comparison study of various translations of the Old Testament. Hexapla (Gr. ...

The full text of the Hexapla is no longer extant. Some portions were discovered in Milan indicating that at least some individual parts existed much longer than was previously thought. The Hexapla has been referred to by later manuscripts and authors, and represented the precursor to the parallel bible. This article is about the city in Italy. ...

The Tetrapla was an abbreviation of the Hexapla in which Origen placed only the translations (Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, and the Septuagint) in parallels.

He was likewise keenly conscious of the textual difficulties in the manuscripts of the New Testament, although he never wrote definitely on this subject. In his exegetical writings he frequently alludes to the variant readings, but his habit of making rough citations in his dictation, the verification being left to the scribes, renders it impossible to deduce his text from his commentaries. Eusebius in Ecclesiastical History 6.25.7 strongly implies Origen disputed the authenticity of the Letters of Paul when he wrote that Paul did not write to all the churches that he taught and even to the ones he wrote he only sent a few lines.

The exegetical writings of Origen fall into three classes:

  • scholia, or brief summaries of the meaning of difficult passages
  • homilies
  • "books", or commentaries in the strict sense of the term.

Jerome states that there were scholia on Leviticus, Psalms i.-xv., Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, and part of John. The Stromateis were of a similar character, and the margin of Codex Athous Laura, 184, contains citations from this work on Rom. 9:23; I Cor. 6:14, 7:31, 34, 9:20-21, 10:9, besides a few other fragments. A sermon is an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy. ...

Homilies on almost the entire Bible were prepared by Origen, these being taken down after his sixtieth year as he preached. It is not improbable that Origen gave no attention to supervising the publication of his homilies, for only by such a hypothesis can the numerous evidences of carelessness in diction be explained. The exegesis of the homilies was simpler than that of the scientific commentaries, but nevertheless demanded no mean degree of intelligence from the auditor. Origen's chief aim was the practical exposition of the text, verse by verse; and while in such barren books as Leviticus and Numbers he sought to allegorize, the wealth of material in the prophets seldom rendered it necessary for him to seek meanings deeper than the surface afforded. Whether the sermons were delivered in series, or the homilies on a single book were collected from various series, is unknown. The homilies preserved are on Genesis (17), Exodus (13), Leviticus (18), Numbers (28), Joshua (16), Judges (9), I Sam. (2), Psalms xxxvi-xxviii (9), Canticles (2), Isaiah (9), Jeremiah (7 Greek, 2 Latin, 12 Greek and Latin), Ezekiel (14), and Luke (39).

Extant commentaries of Origen

The object of Origen's commentaries was to give an exegesis that discriminated strictly against the incidental, unimportant historical significance, in favor of the deeper, hidden, spiritual truth. At the same time, he neglected neither philological nor geographical, historical nor antiquarian material, to all of which he devoted numerous excursuses.

In his commentary on John he constantly considered the exegesis of the Valentinian Heracleon (probably at the instance of Ambrose), and in many other places he implied or expressly cited Gnostic views and refuted them.

Unfortunately, only meager fragments of the commentaries have survived. Besides the citations in the Philocalia, which include fragments of the third book of the commentary on Genesis, Ps. i, iv.1, the small commentary on Canticles, and the second book of the large commentary on the same, the twentieth book of the commentary on Ezekiel, and the commentary on Hosea, and of the commentary on John, only books i, ii, x, xiii, xx, xxviii, xxxii, and a fragment of xix. have been preserved. The commentary on Romans is extant only in the abbreviated version of Rufinus, and the eight books preserved of the commentary on Matthew likewise seem to be either a brief reworking or a rough outline.

Codex Vaticanus, 1215, gives the division of the twenty-five books of the commentary on Ezekiel, and part of the arrangement of the commentary on Isaiah (beginnings of books VI, VIII, XVI; book X extends from Isa. viii.1 to ix.7; XI from ix.8, to x.11; XII, from x.12 to x.23; XIII from x.24 to xi.9; XIV from xi.10 to xii.6; XV from xiii.1 to xiii.16; XXI from xix.1 to xix.17; XXII from xix.18 to xx.6; XXIII from xxi.1 to xxi.17; XXIV from xxii.1 to xxii.25; XXV from xxiii.1 to xxiii.18; XXVI from xxiv.1 to xxv.12; XXVII from xxvi.1 to xxvi.15; XXVIII from xxvi.16 to xxvii.11a; XXIX from xxvii.11b to xxviii.29; and XXX treats of xxix.1 sqq.). Page from Codex Vaticanus Graece 1209, B/03 The Codex Vaticanus (The Vatican, Bibl. ...

The Codex Athous Laura, 184, in like manner, gives the division of the fifteen books of the commentary on Romans (except XI and XII) and of the five books on Galatians, as well as the extent of the commentaries on Philippians and Corinthians (Romans I from 1:1 to 1:7; II from 1:8 to 1:25; III from 1:26 to 2:11; IV from 2:12 to 3:15; V from 3:16 to 3:31; VI from 4:1 to 5:7; VII from 5:8 to 5:16; VIII from 5:17 to 6:15; IX from 6:16 to 8:8; X from 8:9 to 8:39; XIII from 11:13 to 12:15; XIV from 12:16 to 14:10; XV from 14:11 to the end; Galatians I from 1:1 to 2:2; II from 2:3 to 3:4; III from 3:5 to 4:5; IV from 4:6 to 5:5; and V from 5:6 to 6:18; the commentary on Philippians extended to 4:1; and on Ephesians to 4:13).

Dogmatic, practical, and apologetic writings

Among the systematic, practical, and apologetic writings of Origen, mention should first be made of his work On First Principles, perhaps written for his more advanced pupils at Alexandria and probably composed between 212 and 215. It is extant only in the free translation of Rufinus, except for fragments of the third and fourth books preserved in the Philokalia, and smaller citations in Justinian's letter to Mennas. The Philokalia (Gk. ...

In the first book the author considers God, the Logos, the Holy Ghost, reason, and the angels; in the second the world and man (including the incarnation of the Logos, the soul, free will, and eschatology); in the third, the doctrine of sin and redemption; and in the fourth, the Scriptures; the whole being concluded with a resumé of the entire system. The work is noteworthy as the first endeavor to present Christianity as a complete theory of the universe, and was designed to remove the difficulties felt by many Christians concerning the essential bases of their faith. This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Look up logos in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Earlier in date than this treatise were the two books on the resurrection (now lost, a fate which has also befallen two dialogues on the same theme) dedicated to Ambrose. After his removal to Caesarea, Origen wrote the works, still extant, On Prayer, On Martyrdom, and Against Celsus. The first of these was written shortly before 235 (or possibly before 230), and, after an introduction on the object, necessity, and advantage of prayer, ends with an exegesis of the Lord's Prayer, concluding with remarks on the position, place, and attitude to be assumed during prayer, as well as on the classes of prayer. Look up Resurrection in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Contra Celsus, or (probably better Latin) Contra Celsum, is the title of a major work by the Church Father Origenes, refutating the anti-christian writings of Celsus the Platonist. ... Mary Magdalene in prayer. ...

The persecution of Maximinus was the occasion of the composition of the On Martyrdom, which is preserved in the Exhortation to Martyrdom. In it, Origen warns against any trifling with idolatry and emphasizes the duty of suffering martyrdom manfully; while in the second part he explains the meaning of martyrdom. The eight books against Celsus, Contra Celsum were written in 248 in reply to the polemic of the pagan philosopher against Christianity. Celsus (Greek: ) was a 2nd century Greek philosopher and opponent of Christianity. ... Contra Celsus, or (probably better Latin) Contra Celsum, is the title of a major work by the Church Father Origenes, refutating the anti-christian writings of Celsus the Platonist. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ...

Eusebius had a collection of more than one hundred letters of Origen (Hist. eccl., VI, xxxvi.3; Eng. transl. NPNF, 2 ser. i.278-279), and the list of Jerome speaks of several books of his epistles. Except for a few fragments, only a short letter to Gregory Thaumaturgus and the epistle to Sextus Julius Africanus (defending the authenticity of the Greek additions to the book of Daniel) have been preserved. Eusebius is the name of several significant historical people: Pope Eusebius - Pope in AD 309 - 310. ... “Saint Jerome” redirects here. ... Gregory Thaumaturgus (c. ... Sextus Julius Africanus, a Christian traveller and historian of the 3rd century, was probably born in Libya, and may have served under Septimius Severus against the Osrhoenians in AD 195. ...

For forgeries of the writings of Origen made in his lifetime cf. Rufinus, De adulteratione librorum Origenis. The Dialogus de recta in Deum fide, the Philosophumena of Hippolytus, and the Commentary on Job by Julian of Halicarnassus have also been ascribed to him. Statue of Hippolytus, 3rd century. ...


Philosophical and religious

Origen, trained in the school of Clement and by his father, was essentially a Platonist with occasional traces of Stoic philosophy. He was thus a pronounced idealist, regarding all things temporal and material as insignificant and indifferent, the only real and eternal things being comprised in the idea. He therefore regards as the purely ideal center of this spiritual and eternal world, God, the pure reason, whose creative powers call into being the world with matter as the necessary substratum. Platonic idealism is the theory that the substantive reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. ... Stoicism is a school of philosophy commonly associated with such Greek philosophers as Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes, or Chrysippus and with such later Romans as Cicero, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...

Likewise Platonic is the doctrine that those spirits capable of knowing supreme reason, but imprisoned in the body in this world, will rise after death to divinity, being purified by fire. In his attempt to amalgamate the system evolved by Greek thought with Christianity, Origen found his predecessors in the Platonizing Philo of Alexandria and even in the Gnostics[citation needed]. His exegesis does not differ generally from that of Heracleon, but in the canon of the New Testament and in the tradition of the Church, Origen possessed a check which kept him from the excesses of Gnostic exegesis. For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... Philo (20 BCE - 40 CE) was an Alexandrian Jewish philosopher born in Alexandria, Egypt. ... Gnosticism is a blanket term for various religions and sects most prominent in the first few centuries A.D. General characteristics The word gnosticism comes from the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis (γνῶσις), referring to the idea that there is special, hidden mysticism (esoteric knowledge... Heracleon, a Gnostic who flourished about AD 125, probably in the south of Italy or in Sicily, and is generally classed by the early heresiologists with the Valentinian school of heresy. ... John 21:1 Jesus Appears to His Disciples--Alessandro Mantovani: the Vatican, Rome. ...

He was, indeed, a rigid adherent of the Bible, making no statement without adducing some Scriptural basis. To him the Bible was divinely inspired, as was proved both by the fulfilment of prophecy and by the immediate impression which the Scriptures made on those who read them. Since the divine Logos spoke in the Scriptures, they were an organic whole and on every occasion he combatted the Gnostic tenet of the inferiority of the Old Testament. The Bible is the collection of sacred writings or books of Judaism and Christianity. ... This article or section seems to describe future events as if they have already occurred. ... Look up logos in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

In his exegesis, Origen sought to discover the deeper meaning implied in the Scriptures. One of his chief methods was the translation of proper names, which enabled him, like Philo, to find a deep meaning even in every event of history (see hermeneutics), but at the same time he insisted on an exact grammatical interpretation of the text as the basis of all exegesis. Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. ...

A strict adherent of the Church, Origen yet distinguished sharply between the ideal and the empirical Church, representing "a double church of men and angels", or, in Platonic phraseology, the lower church and its celestial ideal. The ideal Church alone was the Church of Christ, scattered over all the earth; the other provided also a shelter for sinners. Holding that the Church, as being in possession of the mysteries, affords the only means of salvation, he was indifferent to her external organization, although he spoke sometimes of the office-bearers as the pillars of the Church, and of their heavy duties and responsibilities.

More important to him was the idea borrowed from Plato of the grand division between the great human multitude, capable of sensual vision only, and those who know how to comprehend the hidden meaning of Scripture and the diverse mysteries, church organization being for the former only.

It is doubtful whether Origen possessed an obligatory creed; at any rate, such a confession of faith was not a norm like the inspired word of Scripture. The reason, illumined by the divine Logos, which is able to search the secret depths of the divine nature, remains as the only source of knowledge.

Theological and dogmatic

Origen's conception of God is apophatic-- God is a perfect unity, invisible and incorporeal, transcending all things material, and therefore inconceivable and incomprehensible. He is likewise unchangeable, and transcends space and time. But his power is limited by his goodness, justice, and wisdom; and, though entirely free from necessity, his goodness and omnipotence constrained him to reveal himself.

This revelation, the external self-emanation of God, is expressed by Origen in various ways, the Logos being only one of many. Revelation was the first creation of God (cf. Prov. viii. 22), in order to afford creative mediation between God and the world, such mediation being necessary, because God, as changeless unity, could not be the source of a multitudinous creation.

The Logos is the rational creative principle that permeates the universe. Since God eternally manifests himself, the Logos is likewise eternal. He forms a bridge between the created and uncreated, and only through him, as the visible representative of divine wisdom, can the inconceivable and incorporeal God be known. Creation came into existence only through the Logos, and God's nearest approach to the world is the command to create. While the Logos is substantially a unity, he comprehends a multiplicity of concepts, so that Origen terms him, in Platonic fashion, "essence of essences" and "idea of ideas".

The defense of the unity of God against the Gnostics led Origen to maintain the subordination of the Logos to God, and the doctrine of the eternal generation is later.[citation needed] Origen distinctly emphasised the independence of the Logos as well as the distinction from the being and substance of God. The term "of the same substance with the Father" was not employed. He is merely an image, a reflex not to be compared with God; as one among other "gods", of course first in rank.

The Logos doctrine and cosmology

The activity of the Logos was conceived by Origen in Platonic fashion, as the world soul, wherein God manifested his omnipotence. His first creative act was the divine spirit, as an independent existence; and partial reflexes of the Logos were the created rational beings, who, as they had to revert to the perfect God as their background, must likewise be perfect; yet their perfection, unlike in kind with that of God, the Logos, and the divine spirit, had to be attained. The freedom of the will is an essential fact of the reason, notwithstanding the foreknowledge of God. The Logos, eternally creative, forms an endless series of finite, comprehensible worlds, which are mutually alternative. Combining the Stoic doctrine of a universe without beginning with the Biblical doctrine of the beginning and the end of the world, he conceived of the visible world as the stages of an eternal cosmic process, affording also an explanation of the diversity of human fortunes, rewards, and punishments. The material world, which at first had no place in this eternal spiritual progression, was due to the fall of the spirits from God, the first being the serpent, who was imprisoned in matter and body. The ultimate aim of God in the creation of matter out of nothing was not punishment, but the upraising of the fallen spirits. Man's accidental being is rooted in transitory matter, but his higher nature is formed in the image of the Creator. The soul is divided into the rational and the irrational, the latter being material and transitory, while the former, incorporeal and immaterial, possesses freedom of the will and the power to reascend to purer life. The strong ethical import of this cosmic process can not remain unnoticed. The return to original being through divine reason is the object of the entire cosmic process. Through the worlds which follow each other in eternal succession, the spirits are able to return to Paradise. God so ordered the universe that all individual acts work together toward one cosmic end which culminates in himself. Likewise as to Origen's anthropology, man conceived in the image of God is able by imitating God in good works to become like God, if he first recognizes his own weakness and trusts all to the divine goodness. He is aided by guardian angels, but more especially by the Logos who operates through saints and prophets in proportion to the constitution of these and man's capacity. Look up logos in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Stoicism is a school of philosophy commonly associated with such Greek philosophers as Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes, or Chrysippus and with such later Romans as Cicero, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus. ... A Gothic angel in ivory, c1250, Louvre An angel is a supernatural being found in many religions. ...


Origen, Christian church father and philosopher
Origen, Christian church father and philosopher

The culmination of this gradual revelation is the universal revelation of Christ. In Christ, God, hitherto manifest only as the Lord, appeared as the Father. The incarnation of the Logos, moreover, was necessary since otherwise he would not be intelligible to sensual man; but the indwelling of the Logos remained a mystery, which could be represented only by the analogy of his indwelling in the saints; nor could Origen fully explain it. He speaks of a "remarkable body", and in his opinion that the mortal body of Jesus was transformed by God into an ethereal and divine body, Origen approximated the Docetism that he otherwise abhorred. His concept of the soul of Jesus is likewise uncertain and wavering. He proposes the question whether it was not originally perfect with God but, emanating from him, at his command assumed a material body. As he conceived matter as merely the universal limit of created spirits, so would it be impossible to state in what form the two were combined. He dismissed the solution by referring it to the mystery of the divine governance of the universe. More logically did he declare the material nature of the world to be merely an episode in the spiritual process of development, whose end should be the annihilation of all matter and return to God, who should again be all in all. The doctrine of the resurrection of the body he upholds by the explanation that the Logos maintains the unity of man's existence by ever changing his body into new forms, thus preserving the unity and identity of personality in harmony with the tenet of an endless cosmic process. Origen's concept of the Logos allowed him to make no definite statement on the redemptive work of Jesus. Since sin was ultimately only negative as a lack of pure knowledge, the activity of Jesus was essentially example and instruction, and his human life was only incidental as contrasted with the immanent cosmic activity of the Logos. Origen regarded the death of Jesus as a sacrifice, paralleling it with other cases of self-sacrifice for the general good. On this, Origen's accord with the teachings of the Church was merely superficial. Image File history File links Origen3. ... Image File history File links Origen3. ... Look up logos in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In Christianity, Docetism (from the Greek [dokeō], to seem) is the belief that Jesus physical body was an illusion, as was his crucifixion; that is, Jesus only seemed to have a physical body and to physically die, but in reality he was incorporeal, a pure spirit, and hence could not...


His idealizing tendency to consider the spiritual alone as real, fundamental to his entire system, led him to combat the "rude"[3] or "crude"[4] Chiliasm (see Christian eschatology) of a sensual beyond. He denied the literal resurrection of physical bodies[5]. Yet he constrained himself from breaking entirely with the distinct celestial hopes and representations of Paradise prevalent in the Church. He represents a progressive purification of souls, until, cleansed of all clouds of evil, they should know the truth and God as the Son knew him, see God face to face, and attain a full possession of the Holy Spirit and union with God. The means of attainment of this end were described by Origen in different ways, the most important of which was his Platonic concept of a purifying fire which should cleanse the world of evil and thus lead to cosmic renovation. By a further spiritualization Origen could call God himself this consuming fire. In proportion as the souls were freed from sin and ignorance, the material world was to pass away, until, after endless eons, at the final end, God should be all in all, and the worlds and spirits should return to a knowledge of God, in Greek this is called Apokatastasis. Millennialism (or chiliasm), from millennium, which literally means thousand years. Primarily a belief in some Christian denominations, literature and folk religion, that at some point in the future there will be a Golden Age, a Paradise on earth when universal peace will reign, when all people will dwell in prosperity... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... // Main article: Jewish eschatology Orthodox Judaism holds that belief in the Resurrection of the Dead is one of the cardinal principles of the Jewish faith. ... External Links Article on Theandros - Eschatology and final restoration (apokatastasis) in Origen, Gregory of Nyssa and Maximos the Confessor Stoic/Astrological conception of apokatastasis ...


In Origen the Christian Church had its first theologian in the highest sense of the term. Attaining the pinnacle of human speculation, his teaching was not merely theoretical, but was also imbued with an intense ethical power. To the multitude to whom his instruction was beyond grasp, he left mediating images and symbols, as well as the final goal of attainment. In Origen Christianity blended with the pagan philosophy in which lived the desire for truth and the longing after God. When he died, however, he left no pupil who could succeed him, nor was the church of his period able to become his heir, and thus, his knowledge was buried. Three centuries later his very name was stricken from the books of the Church; yet in the monasteries of the Greeks his influence still lived on, and the spiritual father of Greek monasticism was that same Origen at whose name the monks had shuddered.

Origen's influence on the later Church

For quite some time, Origen was counted as one of the most important church fathers and his works were widely used in the Church. His exegetical method was standard of the School of Alexandria and the Origenists were an important party in the 4th century debates on Arianism. This article is about theological views like those of Arius. ...

Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, e.g., compiled in their first monastery the Philokalia, a collection of Origen's work, though both of them did neither adopt Origenism nor use the Alexandrian allegoric exegesis. Basil (ca. ... Saint Gregory Nazianzus (AD 329 - January 25, 389), also known as Saint Gregory the Theologian, was a 4th century Christian bishop of Constantinople. ...

Much later, Origen got into theological trouble with the Church because of some extreme views adopted by his followers, the Origenists, whose views were attributed to Origen. In the course of this controversy, some of his other teachings came up, which were not accepted by the general church consensus. Among these were the preexistence of souls, universal salvation and a hierarchical concept of the Trinity. These teachings, and some of his followers' more extreme views, were declared anathema by a local council in Constantinople 545, and then an ecumenical council (Fifth Ecumenical Council) pronounced "15 anathemas" against Origen in 553. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Trinity (disambiguation). ... Anathema (in Greek Ανάθεμα) meaning originally something lifted up as an offering to the gods; later, with evolving meanings, it came to mean: to be formally set apart, banished, exiled, excommunicated or denounced, sometimes accursed. ... The Fifth Ecumenical Council (the Second Council of Constantinople) was a Christian Ecumenical Council that was held in 553. ...

The anathema against him in his person, declaring him (among others) a heretic, reads as follows:

If anyone does not anathematize Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutyches and Origen, as well as their impious writings, as also all other heretics already condemned and anathematized by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and by the aforesaid four Holy Synods and [if anyone does not equally anathematize] all those who have held and hold or who in their impiety persist in holding to the end the same opinion as those heretics just mentioned: let him be anathema.[3]

As a result of this condemnation, the writings of Origen supporting his teachings in these areas were destroyed. They were either outright destroyed, or they were translated with the appropriate adjustments to eliminate conflict with Orthodox Christianity (the "Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" referred to in the council of 553, which at the time included both of what are now called the Catholic and Orthodox Churches). Therefore, little direct evidence remains to fully confirm or disprove Origen’s support of the nine points of anathema against him.

The book Reincarnation in Christianity, by the theosophist Geddes MacGregor (1978) asserted that Origen believed in reincarnation. MacGregor is convinced that Origen believed in and taught about reincarnation but that his texts written about the subject have been destroyed. He admits that there is no extant proof for that position. The allegation was also repeated by Shirley MacLaine in her book Out On a Limb. Seal of the Theosophical Society Theosophy is a body of belief which holds that all religions are attempts by man to ascertain the Divine, and as such each religion has a portion of the truth. ... Reincarnation, literally to be made flesh again, is a doctrine or mystical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body. ... Shirley MacLaine (born Shirley MacLean Beaty April 24, 1934) is an Academy Award-winning American film and theatre actress, well-known not only for her acting, but for her devotion to her belief in reincarnation. ...

This cannot be confirmed from the existent writings of Origen. He was cognizant of the concept of reincarnation (metensomatosis "re-embodiment" in his words) from Greek philosophy, but it is repeatedly stated that this concept is no part of the Christian teaching or scripture. In his Comment on the Gospel of Matthew, which stems from a sixth century Latin translation, it is written: "In this place [when Jesus said Elijah was come and referred to John the Baptist] it does not appear to me that by Elijah the soul is spoken of, lest I fall into the doctrine of transmigration, which is foreign to the Church of God, and not handed down by the apostles, nor anywhere set forth in the scriptures" (ibid., 13:1:46–53). The Gospel of Matthew (literally, according to Matthew; Greek, Κατά Μαθθαίον or Κατά Ματθαίον) is one of the four Gospel accounts of the New Testament. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

The Emperor Justinian chose the theory of eternal damnation over Apokatastasis and the underlying need for purification of all souls through multiple incarnations.[citation needed] Reluctantly he remains a father of the church, and this can be seen best in the commentaries of Tyrannius Rufinus, who visibly struggled with his task of transcribing Origen’s works into Latin and the new Roman dogma.[citation needed] Tyrannius Rufinus or Rufinus of Aquileia (between 340 and 345–410 CE) was a monk, historian, and theologian. ...

See also

The Ransom view of the atonement is a doctrine in Christian theology related to the meaning and effect of the death of Jesus Christ which originated in the early Church, particularly in the work of Origen. ... Not everyone listed here is Christian or a mystic, but all have contributed to the Christian understanding of connection to or direct experience of God. ...


  1. ^ http://www.caesarea.landscape.cornell.edu/about.html
  2. ^ Another source [1] says "Tyre."
  3. ^ The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol.8, p. 273
  4. ^ The Anchor Bible Dictionary (1997) article "Chiliasm", The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart (Johann Amos Comenius, ed. 1998) p. 42 and Jews and Christians: The Parting of the Ways, A.D. 70 to 135 (James D. G. Dunn, 1999) p. 52.
  5. ^ "Origen believes that all spirits will be finally rescued and glorified, each in the form of its individual life, in order to serve a new epoch of the world when sensuous matter disappears of itself." [2]

6. Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition: 100-600. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977.

This article includes content derived from the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1914, which is in the public domain. The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge is a 1914 religious encyclopedia, published in thirteen volumes. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

Modern Uses of the Name

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External links

NAME Origin
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Origenes Adamantius (full name); Ὠριγένης (Greek)
SHORT DESCRIPTION Christian theologian
PLACE OF DEATH Tyre, Lebanon

  Results from FactBites:
Origen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4920 words)
Origen, however, was taken under the protection of a woman of wealth and standing; but as her household already included a heretic named Paul, the strictly orthodox Origen seems to have remained with her only a short time.
Origen's chief aim was the practical exposition of the text, verse by verse; and while in such barren books as Leviticus and Numbers he sought to allegorize, the wealth of material in the prophets seldom rendered it necessary for him to seek meanings deeper than the surface afforded.
Origen, trained in the school of Clement and by his father, was essentially a Platonist with occasional traces of Stoic philosophy.
Origen - LoveToKnow 1911 (4655 words)
Origen was born, perhaps at Alexandria, of Christian parents in the year 185 or 186.
Origen, who had distinguished himself by his intrepid zeal, was supported for a time by a lady of rank, but began about the same time to earn his bread by teaching; and in 203 he was placed, with the sanction of the bishop Demetrius, at the head of the catechetical school.
Origen's textual studies on the Old Testament were undertaken partly in order to improve the manuscript tradition, and partly for apologetic reasons, to clear up the relation between the LXX and the original Hebrew text.
  More results at FactBites »



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